Garden State Arts Center
Download FLAC: Amazon Drive
Sony clip-on stereo mic clipped to front of painter’s cap > Sony D6 cassette (FOB center, on Sony Metal SR 100 minute tape, Dolby C on)
My master cassette > Nakamichi Dragon (Dolby C decode, auto azimuth adjust) > Sound Devices 722 (@24/96)
Soundforge Pro 13.0 – All file manipulation in Soundforge done at 24 bits. File processed in Soundforge for clap/whistle/yell scrubbing; volume normalization. Tracked in CDWav. Tagged in Tag&Rename 3.9.15
Cassette Side A
Georgie Fame and the band without Van
- Parchman’s Farm
- Yeh Yeh
- Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away
- So Complicated
- Celtic Swing
- I Will Be There
- Cleaning Windows
- Tore Down A La Rimbaud
- Warm Love
- Have I Told You Lately
- Whenever God Shines His Light
- These Are The Days
Cassette Side B
- She Gives Me Religion
- Beautiful Vision
- Dweller On The Threshold
- Sweet Thing
- Northern Muse (Solid Ground) / Auld Lang Syne / When The Heart Is Open
- Summertime In England / A Town Called Paradise
- encore break
- Star Of The County Down
- Full Force Gale
Georgie Fame – organ and vocals
Richie Buckley – tenor saxophone
Dave Early – drums
Brian Odgers – bass
Steve Gregory – saxophone
Bernie Holland – guitar
Neil Drinkwater – keyboards
I hand scrubbed over 300 individual claps, whistles, yells, and on-stage feedback from this recording for all of our enjoyment.
Recorded, transferred (8/17/2013), tracked (8/19/2019), mastered (2/7-20/2020), and posted (2/21/2020) by Scott Bernstein
For BARN211, I’m bringing things back to one of my favorite all-time musicians and live performers — Van Morrison. While I have previously posted my all-time favorite show of his as BARN166 way back in 2015 (nearly 5 years back), I figured it was time for me to put out another one. This one represents the first time I ever saw him perform live — at my local amphitheater at the time — the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. At the time I wasn’t really prepared for what I was about to witness — Van is one of those performers who reinterprets his music as he sees fit, and the fans can’t come to a show expecting to hear music as it was recorded on the album.
In this timeframe, Van’s show was a bit more jazzy, and you could expect jazzier interpretations of his songs. He didn’t perform any of his “hits” (other than “Gloria” — his hit from 1964 when he was in the band Them, in the encore), and a 4 songs in the setlist (“Whenever God Shines His Light”, “These Are The Days”, “Orangefield”, “Have I Told You Lately”) are from his then-current album “Avalon Sunset” — and “Have I Told You Lately” would go on to become a big hit for Rod Stewart when he covered it a few years later. The rest are pulled from all corners of his catalog, but his genius is in evidence here during a magical 11+ minute version of “Sweet Thing” from his classic album Astral Weeks and a sublime nearly 9 minute version of “Summertime In England” (from his semi-obscure 1980 “Common One” album), representing 20 minutes of the back half of the set — both notable because every other song falls squarely in the 2-4 minute range. “Star Of The County Down” (which has a totally different sound and feel from the rest of the show) comes from his 1988 album of traditional Irish folk songs recorded with The Chieftans.
This version of his band was anchored by the presence of organist (and vocalist) Georgie Fame, and the format of all of his shows at the time was that Georgie and the rest of the band would be the “warm up” act for Van, performing a few songs without Van to warm up the crowd and the band (Georgie hilarously comments at the end of his set “That’s the warm-up and it obviously had no effect at all!”), and then inviting Van on stage. Those 3 “opening act” songs are presented here at the beginning of the recording. One of opening songs — “Yeh Yeh” was a top-10 hit in England for Georgie in 1964. You’ll hear Georgie’s voice featured promintently on this recording harmonizing and backing Van throughout.
It’s very interesting to note that it’s clear that Van didn’t work from a setlist — if you listen closely you can actually hear him calling out each and every song to the band as the previous song is finishing.
One more interesting note about this show — I did a little Googling of the bassist from this show – Brian Odgers, who was not typically one of Van’s bassists that I’d heard of before, played with Van only in the years 1989-1990 (by 1991 he had Nicky Scott playing bass, and he played with Van straight through 1999 and then again in 2002 and 2004). Anyway, Brian has a storied bass-playing career — to start off, he played on Elton John’s “Madman Across The Water” in 1971; he also played on Lou Reed’s self-titled 1972 album, Roger Daltry’s 1977 album “One Of The Boys”, and John McLaughlin’s 1969 album “Extrapolation” before joining Van around this time to tour and record Enlightenment.
The source of this recording is an old cassette of mine, with an inferior clip-on mic and I’ve spent a couple of weeks giving it a polish with a proper transfer, meticulously scrubbing out over 300 claps/yells/whistles (and even some bursts of onstage feedback), smoothing out some volume inconsistencies on the master tape, and a nice EQ. This is a massive upgrade over my original recording, and this is my first attempt to circulate my 30 year old master.